The first quarter of the business year often brings with it new workplace initiatives. There may be employee re-organizations, a new sales mantra to follow, or a change management initiative created to transform the business. When a new project is launched, many businesses fall into the trap of hurrying to get the message out, without taking the time to plan what the message is, to whom it is directed, and how it should be delivered.
In a world of immediate news and on-demand content, it is easy to forget that a message is only as strong as its foundation. It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new project; it is harder to step back, think about the message, where and to whom it’s going, what are the communications goals and objectives…and how the message should reach its targets. But the time put in up front to prepare your communication foundation is time well spent.
A strong communication plan needs to look beyond the message. It needs to consider the purpose of the project, and the business rationale. Who is being impacted? How will it affect each audience? How are the messages being delivered? Is it a short-term or long-term initiative? Does the message need to be adjusted for different business operations or different cultures? And finally, who is delivering the message? Should executive leadership deliver the message or will the message resonate better if it is delivered by local management?
Communication isn’t about just crafting a clever slogan, developing collaterals or making a presentation. It’s about identifying the key audiences, defining the communications goal and objectives, the key messages, and the most effective media or people in your organization to deliver those messages. In developing a communications strategy, the message is crafted, targeted, reinforced and measured so that it resonates throughout your business to the people who need to hear it, understand it clearly and if needed, act on it.
“Ready, Shoot, Aim” is never a viable action plan for communications. Do the groundwork – build your foundation, and prepare. It’s the “Ready, Aim, Shoot” approach that will make your message the “shot heard ‘round the world.”
Author: Robin Imbesi